Italians entrusted SoliTek with the first-ever RRF project in the EU
In Italy, the first renewable energy project financed by the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) in the European Union (EU) has been initiated, with the construction of a Eur 50 million, three-unit production line plant entrusted to the Lithuanian company SoliTek.
On Friday, 26 May, SoliTek UAB, one of the largest manufacturers of solar modules in Northern Europe, signed an agreement with the Italian investment agency Invitalia to provide support for a new strategic solar energy development and storage project. The signing of this pivotal agreement was attended by esteemed figures such as Adolfo Urso, Italian Minister of Enterprise and Made in Italy (Economy), Bernardo Mattarella, CEO of Invitalia, Clemente Mastella, Mayor of the Benevento Region of Italy, Dalia Kreivienė, Ambassador of Lithuania to Italy, and Vidmantas Janulevičius, CEO of Global BOD Group.
This ground-breaking initiative represents the EU's first utilisation of an RRF grant to foster the growth of solar energy production capacity and storage The project goes beyond renewable energy and serves as a shining example of the circular economy in action.
The meticulous planning and preparation for this momentous undertaking spanned nearly a year, ever since the investment agency's plan was presented during a visit to the Italian Ministry of Economy. The Lithuanian company, captivated by the project's potential, promptly engaged with the investment agency Invitalia. From the initial application to the contract signing, a mere 10 months elapsed, marking an impressive timeline for the realisation of this EUR 50 million endeavour. According to the signed agreement, the Investment Agency will provide Invitalia with a substantial 65% subsidy for the project, further affirming their commitment to its success
Italy's strategic geographical location renders it highly favourable for SoliTek's innovative products, ensuring that Italy will reap multiple benefits from its partnership with the Lithuanian company. “Being pioneers in the production of double-sided solar modules globally and the first in Europe to introduce glass-to-glass modules, SoliTek found Italy to be an ideal fit. Italy's abundant sunshine, coupled with its advantageous geographical position, enables SoliTek to maximise the utilisation of their modules on various infrastructures like roads, motorways, and railways. By utilising their modules as sound barriers, they create what can be referred to as a “solar wall” that serves three vital functions: noise protection, generation of green electricity, and shielding of the motorway or railway track from external disturbances. I think the interest of Italian representatives in our project is driven by the challenging terrain in the country, where access to electricity is difficult in mountainous areas, and our project ensures local electricity production,” explains V. Janulevičius.
The use of glass-to-glass modules aligns perfectly with the needs of Italian agriculture, and our company will focus on producing SOLID Agro solar modules specifically designed for agricultural purposes in Italy. These new modules will serve a triple function, generating electricity while also providing protection to plants against the intense southern sun, leading to water savings in irrigation, and safeguarding against natural disasters such as hail and storms.
“In addition to the aforementioned benefits, our company will process the products we produce and reintroduce them to the market, making our proposal an ideal match not only for the green transformation but also for the circular economy,“ emphasised V. Janulevičius.
Three new production lines are planned to be built over the next three years: A solar module production line with a capacity of 600 MW, a 1 GW storage battery plant, and a recycling plant that will handle the recycling of 8,000 tonnes of old solar modules and batteries per year.
The production design work is currently in progress with the acquisition of an old factory in the free economic zone between Rome and Naples. The solar module production line is expected to be operational by next spring, followed by the completion of the 1 GW storage battery production line by spring 2025. The recycling line for batteries will be fully operational by spring 2026.
“With this investment, we position ourselves as a local player of regional significance and establish a closer geographical proximity to our customers. By having production facilities in Italy and Lithuania, SoliTek is strategically positioned to optimize its production capacity and serve a broader geographic range. For instance, we will supply Central and Eastern Europe with solar modules and electricity storage systems from our Italian plant, while the Baltic States and Scandinavia will be served by our Lithuanian plants,” says Vidmantas Janulevičius, CEO of Global BOD Group.
While investing in renewable energy in Lithuania, the company is actively seeking new markets and opportunities as we expand our production. Currently, SoliTek exports approximately 93% of its production. “We take pride in the fact that Lithuanian industrial companies are at the forefront of innovation in Europe. I encourage Lithuania to pursue a tax strategy that enhances our country's attractiveness to investment companies compared to neighbouring nations,” V. Janulevičius concludes.
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